Fall 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Amy Dievendorf


Problem Statement: Patients are not habitually screened for palliative care consultations, and there is no protocol for initiating communication with palliative care. Not only is this a problem at the local and state level, but only about 5% of acute care patients nationally are estimated to utilize palliative care services. This delay in specialty care that palliative consultations could provide negatively impacts patients. Purpose: This evidence-based practice (EBP) project aimed to determine if a palliative care trigger tool in an intensive care unit (ICU) would increase the number of palliative care consultations. Methods: A pre-implementation survey was distributed to ICU providers to understand better the gaps in knowledge regarding the roles that palliative care can cover. A cross-sectional study design evaluated the proportion of palliative care consults received using a palliative care trigger tool and receiving a positive score. The inclusion criteria were any patient admitted to the Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) between January 2023 and March 2023. Analysis: Mean, standard deviation, minimums, and maximums were used to analyze the survey results. T-tests, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests, frequency, and correlations were used to analyze the trigger tool data collected. Implications for Practice: Improving the number of palliative care consultations may improve patient quality of life by aligning patient-specific care goals with the treatment plan.


© 2023, Courtney Thomas

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Nursing Commons